Suzanne's Story

Suzanne Bounous-1.jpg


State: Utah
Date of diagnosis:


Age at time of diagnosis: 


Stage of diagnosis:    

 Stage 2              
Last 'NORMAL' Mammogram:                                                                       

Within weeks of a normal mammogram

How was cancer diagnosed?

Confirmed by Ultrasound & MRI 

In August of 2009 while on a vacation my husband commented that a particular lump is distorting the shape of my breast. I mention this a few weeks later when I went for my mammogram. The radiologist said not to worry as the mammogram was normal.  When I reported this to my husband, he was not satisfied and asked a friend of his who is a radiologist about my results.  Within a few days, the radiologist did an ultrasound. 

The Radiologist barely touches the ultrasound to my right breast and gasps; he has the mammogram in the procedure room to refer to. He tells me he is afraid that he sees 3 malignant tumors during the ultrasound scan, one over an inch in diameter in my right breast.  Later that week the ultrasound diagnosis is confirmed by breast MRI. My breast was lit up like a Christmas tree with cancer on the MRI.  Nothing is discernible on the mammogram because of 'dense breasts.'

I had a single mastectomy and four months of chemo followed by radiation.

My Oncologist asked permission to submit my mammogram and MRI to the "Forum of Radiologists" in Salt Lake City that takes place weekly between the 5 major hospitals to bring up any unusual cases that came up that week. My name was given and the radiologists were told I had 3 malignant tumors, with one over an inch in diameter. He told me not one radiologist could find any of the tumors in the mammogram as my breasts were so dense - they were then given the MRI films to review.  They were shocked seeing all the cancer in the right breast. I have never had another mammogram and will never have one again.

My oncologist ordered MRI's yearly as my screening regimen as I am still dense in my left breast.  He just left the practice.  The breast care center where I was treated originally (and they know my history) attempted this year to intimidate me into getting a mammogram.  I refused and demanded ultrasound. 


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  • Are You Dense? Fact #1:

    Breast density is one of the strongest predictors of the failure of mammography screening to detect cancer.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #2:

    Two-thirds of pre-menopausal women and 1/4 of post menopausal women have dense breast tissue. 

  • Are You Dense? Fact #3:

    Adding more sensitive tests to mammography significantly increase detection of invasive cancers that are small and node negative.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #4:

    Cancer turns up five times more often in women with extremely dense breasts than those with the most fatty tissue.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #5:

    While a mammogram detects 98% of cancers in women with fatty breasts, it finds only 48% in women with the densest breasts.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #6:

    A woman at average risk and a woman at high risk have an EQUAL chance of having their cancer masked by mammogram.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #7:

    Women with dense breasts who had breast cancer have a four times higher risk of recurrence than women with less-dense breasts.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #8:

    A substantial proportion of Breast Cancer can be attributed to high breast density alone.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #9:

    There are too many women who are unaware of their breast density, believe their “Happy Gram” when it reports no significant findings and are at risk of receiving a later stage cancer diagnosis.